Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Hot Stuff!

We headed into Chicago to a unique glass blowing warehouse which is a workshop for several local artisans.

The furnaces are all lined up against at least a 100 foot wall, hotter than hot above 2,000 degrees and even the fans do not dissipate the heat.

There are cylinders of propane, extinguishers and fire everywhere.  I wasn't brave enough to sit up in front like this lady.

Pearl Dick is one of the artisans and she does glass heads, a long arduous process requiring great expertise.

The head goes in and out of the furnace over and over, features formed, color washes, silica, etc.

The artisans are from all over the United States, many from Seattle which has a big glass blowing community.

Fireproof cloths are used to shape the glass while it is red hot.

Some of the glass is more whimsical but still beautiful and intricate.

This is not a museum, it is in a fringe neighborhood, warehouse atmosphere glass on the streets instead of grass, torn down buildings and not much nicer inside.  It is not pristine, hot, but the space is reasonable and an artist goes where they can work.

After lunch we headed out to the Echt Gallery in a much more gentrified area.

Pearl Dick is featured at this gallery with a grouping of very little heads.  Someone in our group wanted to purchase them, not sure if this deal went through.

This is a grouping of her heads back at the warehouse, much larger than at the gallery.

The Echt Gallery is a small boutique gallery featuring some beautiful glass work and sculptures.

I had a difficult time realizing that these were artwork with the boxes to go with them!

Blown glass in metal hull

There really was some more recognizable artwork here also.

Chilluli Glass Cylinders


Chilluli Painting


Larry said...

Very intriguing post Eileen! Larry

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Larry,

It was very interesting as I never realized how difficult and dangerous it is to be a glass blower.


Jennifer said...

Hi Eileen, I would not be very brave around an open flame or hot molten glass either. I am clumsy and though the thought of creating artwork or objects is very appealing, I worry that I would accidentally burn myself. There were lots of tempting things there. Did You buy anything? Have a wonderful weekend Eileen!

Balisha said...

I was wondering the same as Jennifer. Some of these pieces are beautiful. Such vibrant colors. This art form as always intrigued me. I have watched glass artists in Italy on PBS. Fascinating!

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Jennifer,

I did not buy anything. The prices were high but those little heads were very interesting.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Balisha,

We don't see much of this type of art in the US. So, I guess that is why these artisians in numbers are in just specific locations.